Aware Of Wonder
When I was young, back when God was a child, I encountered a book that became wildly popular at the time, a wonderful little book of essays called, "Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum. Mr. Fulghum has a nice, folksy writing style and some wonderfully apt insights; one of them occurred to me as I was planting beans this morning.
I had donned my ratty old straw gardening hat with the flowered band and was out in the filtered sunshine, first we have seen in several days, enjoying the freshly washed air after an overnight rain. It seemed like the perfect time to plant beans. Last fall, I bought a package of Tarbais beans from Rancho Gordo for a cassoulet and, on a whim, saved just a few for planting.
I'm an indifferent gardener at best, but I do enjoy experimenting each year with some funny new crop. Last year, I had decided not to plant anything, but two tomato plants volunteered from the previous year's seeds, so I let them grow and they were actually the most productive tomatoes I have ever grown. That little story is a good illustration of my gardening habits. I'm bad at watering, worse at weeding, and hopeless at keeping any semblance of orderly rows.
So, as I dropped my fat, white seeds into little holes at the base of slender bamboo poles that I imagined some day will each support a leafy vine full of swelling pods, I was aware of the wonder of what I was doing. The wonder that a seed can hang on to life over a long winter. That it magically knows when the time is right to begin germination. That from less than an ounce of bean will grow many thousands of times that amount of stalk, leaves, flowers, and more beans for next year and the year after that and the year after that! It's the very best kind of mystery.